Many people begin their recovery by focusing on their sobriety first, as they should. They work hard on managing their cravings, desires, and triggers that might otherwise lead them to drink. Getting and staying sober is the first primary task of recovery.
But at some point recovery changes and evolves to something else. Once you’re stable in your sobriety, you might notice that the only way you’re going to be able to sustain your sobriety is to take responsibility for your life. There’s a common tendency for those who struggle with addiction to also experience depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and powerlessness. And these experiences can contribute to not giving your life value.
These experiences might also contribute to making choices in your life that are harmful. For instance, those who struggle with an addiction might choose to drink when they are angry versus seeing someone to talk to about their anger. In other words, during an addiction you might not have taken a certain responsibility for your life. However, in recovery you have the opportunity to take responsibility for your physical, emotional, and psychological well being.
In fact, one important point to consider is that no one else can be blamed for the life you’re living. Although it’s easy to blame your parents, your spouse, or an abusive older brother, right now the only person who can bring happiness, growth, and change into your life is you. In fact, if you were to physically point your finger outward toward someone (as though you were blaming them), notice that there are three fingers pointing back at you. The only person that can be blamed for any problems in your life right now is you.
This can be both hard to accept but also incredibly empowering. It’s hard to accept especially if you have a tendency of blaming others. Yet, once you realize that your life is yours to take responsibility for then you have the power to take the reins on the areas of your life that need changing. Once you realize that you are responsible for your own life, you might be able to feel the power behind making your own choices and directing your life the way you want to.
One of the most powerful ways to begin to change – and take responsibility for making that change – is to focus on your own thoughts. The first question you might ask yourself is, “What type of thoughts am I having?” And the next question might be, “How are my thoughts affecting my perception or experience of life?” A chaotic inner experience is often the primary reason people to begin and to continue drinking or using drugs.
The thoughts and emotions men and women carry can lead to living a chaotic lifestyle and making poor choices. Part of making any change is exploring how you’re inwardly reacting to the situation you aim to change. In other words, when you’re trying to make a change in your life, take a look at your thoughts and inner experience as a whole.
Now that you’re sober, now is the time to take responsibility for your life!